Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
P.S. My cupcakes were lacking chocolate chips because I forgot to put them in. I was devastated, but they were still yummy, and I plan to make them again very soon.
P.P.S. They were also lacking the ganache that was suppose to frost the top of the cupcakes before the buttercream, but it was late and I was too tired to melt anymore chocolate, but I will make these again and pull out all the stops. I promise.
PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 1- The Ghirardelli Grand Fudge Cupcakes
Makes approx. 24 cupcakes
3/4 cup(s) Unsweetened Cocoa
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup(s) sugar
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cup(s) milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I forgot them, but I beg you in the name of all that is holy DO NOT FORGET THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and lightly flour baking pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk (starting and ending with the flour mixture), while mixing on low speed. Continue to mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 2 - The Ghirardelli Chocolate Mousse
Source: Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet baking chocolate wrapper (yes ghetto I know, but I'm all about convenience, and when I took off the wrapper it was just there begging to be made) Also I had been trying to find a good mousse recipe, and this one caught my eye because it was one of the few where the eggs aren't completely raw which kind of skeeves me out.
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 bars (6 oz.) Ghirardelli Semi‑Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars, chopped
Beat egg yolks in small bowl on high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar then beat. Heat one cup whipping cream in saucepan over medium heat inst until hot (do not boil). Gradually stir half of the hot cream into egg yolk mixture then combine back into hot cream in saucepan. Cook over low hear about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is blended and thickens. Let cool for 10 minutes, then add chocolate to mixture and stir until thick, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled. Beat remaining 1-1/2 cups whipping cream in chilled medium bowl on high until stiff. Mix 3/4 cups of the whipping cream into chocolate mixture until blended. Fold remaining whipped cream gradually into chocolate mixture until well blended. Fill pastry bag.
Filling cupcakes using the cone method (Do not be impressed I just learned about this literally 3 days ago)
Make a small round incision (about 3/4 of an inch) on the top of the cupcake going down into the cupcake in the shape of a cone (like a mini snow cone). Not too far down or you'll get all the yummy cupcake center out. Cut off the end of the cone so that you only have the top of the cupcake left to cover the hole up with. Pipe in chocolate mousse and cover with the left over top of the cone. Don't worry if it looks all beat up at this point. Once you frost them you can't tell the difference.
PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 3 - The Chocolate Ganache
Source: cupcake project
3.5 oz of Semi-Sweet chocolate broken into small pieces
1/3 C heavy cream
Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just starts to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted and integrated with the cream. While it is still warm, spread a thin layer of it over the cupcakes. It will harden when it cools.
PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 4 - The Chocolate Buttercream
Source: Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa label
6 Tbsp. Butter softened to room temperature
2-2/3 cups Confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup Milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
In bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. In separate bowl mix sugar with cocoa. Blend sugar mixture with butter alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Blend in vanilla. Fill pastry bag and pipe pretty designs on your cupcakes!
Monday, April 21, 2008
I found it online in a search for the recipe for Mrs. fields brownies, and it was love at first bite. I swear its the most magical thing to happen in my mouth in a long time, well technically since last night (I'm talking about the flan, get your mind out of the gutter people). The brownies are fudgey and gooey and an absolute dream come true. Anyway I digress, lets get back to the issue at hand which was finding a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. One that would be as amazing as the brownie recipe. Now this was going to be tricky because my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies in the world are the pillsbury ones that come in a roll and you bake them on a whim, and they are perfection. Every. Single. time. I briefly considered using them, but that would be cheating my amazing brownie recipe by not pairing it with a home made cookie dough so on I went to search the web. I came across this recipe on allrecipes.com for "the best big fat chocolate chip cookie" and with over 2,000 raving reviews I was sold, and the mission for world dominance began.
I have to admit that I was bit skeptical initially because I love the pillsbury ones so much, BUT this was one great cookie recipe (pillsbury it was not, but great none the less). I decided to make it a couple of ways so that I could decide how I liked it best. I made mini chocolate chip cookie brownie cupcakes and chocolate chip cookie brownie bars. Half of the cupcakes had brownie on the bottom and chocolate chip cookie on the top and Some had it the other way around with cookie on the bottom and brownie on the top. Both mini cupcakes were heavenly, but for some odd reason the chocolate chip cookie brownie bars were AMAZING!
I think the mini cupcakes were too small to get the full effect of both flavors since the the top layer was the more dominant flavor. The bars on the other hand...O.M.G. Please dont be deterred by the horrible picture above. I forgot to take a picture of them after they were done and I only remembered after I had already put them inside tupperwear and then proceeded to drop the tupperware on the floor so they survived quite an ordeal to say the least. The layer of cookie (bottom) and brownie (top) complemented each other perfectly. Each layer had its own moment in the spot light as each bite was an even combination of delightful chocolate chip cookieness (yes, I know that is not a real word) and fudgey brownie goodness. I seriously think I have hit the mother load. I highly advise you try this recipe because a life that never knows the beautiful love story of chocolate chip cookie brownies is a life not lived.
Chocolate chip cookie brownie bars (or mini cupcakes which ever you prefer)
Chocolate chip cookie recipe
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg ( I used two eggs because the thought of just yolks in my cookies kinda skeeves me out)
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I only used 1 cup because I don't like a lot of chocolate chips in my cookies, I'm a weirdo, I know).
1/2 cup of nuts if desired
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts by hand using a wooden spoon. Set in refrigerator while you prepare the brownie recipe.
6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup salted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine unsweetened baking chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat and stir until smooth.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs until light yellow in color, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and blend on low until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and melted chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture. Blend on low speed until smooth. Add the flour and mix thoroughly by hand.
For mini cupcakes:
Grease mini muffin mold. Measure about 1/2 tablspoon of batter of each. bake at 300 F. for about 15 minutes. Start checking at 10 min since ovens vary. Brownies should be gooey when a toothpick is inserted. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean you've cooked them too long. Cool to room temperature.
For brownie bars:
Grease 9*13 inch baking, mold cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Try to get the cookie layer as even as possible. Pour brownie batter over cookie dough smooth top. Bake until cookie layer is done and brownie is gooey about 20-25 minutes, but start checking at 15 since all ovens vary. Warning over baking will result in rock hard brownies and cookies. Brownies should be gooey when a toothpick is inserted. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean you've cooked them too long. Cool to room temperature.
They are seriously like hot sex on a platter.
As I was mulling over all of my favorite recipes I decided to start with something that is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother's flan (caramel custard for the less exotic). Now I'm sure you've seen and tried flan before (if you haven't I highly suggest you run not walk to your local goya aisle and try this recipe at once, you'll want to have my babies after, I promise), but I guarantee you've never tried anything like this. Its rich creamy smoothness is like a satin dream on your tongue. Its perfect flavor and texture is like a mouth orgasm. I'm not kidding. Now being Hispanic I've tried hundreds of flan recipes in my life, but nothing ever comes close to the ethnic home flavor of my grandma's flan. I knew that my first recipe could only be this.
Now I'm far from a professional photographer so I must warn you more times than not the deliciousness you see on here will probably taste better than it looks, but I promise I will never steer you wrong, and to try my best to spruce up the stars of the show (as seen above). You'll have to forgive me if my pics aren't taken with natural light (whatever that is, but I've seen people say it on other cooking blogs and I wanted to sound like I knew what i was talking about), but quite frankly blogging is time consuming enough. I really can't afford to worry about catching the right lighting for the pic when I barely have time to bake a cookie let alone take a decent photograph of it. Not to mention the fact that I cook mostly by memory so though I wont leave out any ingredients I'm a terrible recipe writer.
If you ever feel that I've missed a step or left out temperature its very possible I did so just post any questions you may have about the recipe and I will answer them as soon as possible. And now without further ado...Zee flan. Savor it, indulge in it, use it in foreplay. I don't care what you do with it as long as you don't deny yourself of this heaven on your lips a moment longer. You and your mouth will thank me, and sing me praises and name your first born after me.
Source: Grandma's heart
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of Nestle table cream or Media crema (found in the goya aisle at your local supermarket) or 1/4 cup of sour cream if you do not find media crema in your supermarket.
1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Put a metal 8 inch round cake pan (I used a fluted muffin pan, use whatever pan you would like) in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.
Stir the sugar, water together in a small saucepan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel. Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.
whisk 6 eggs. Add evaporated milk, condensed milk, and table milk and mix on medium until well blended. Using spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up. Put the caramel lined pan into a 9*13 inch baking pan because you have to cook it in a water bath. Pour the custard into the caramel lined pan and slide into the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water from the saucepan into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.) Bake the flan for about 45 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.
Prepare taste buds to taste heaven.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008